Bluehost vs Wordpress
If you have any sort of interest in hosting and website building chances are you already know a thing or two about Bluehost and WordPress. These two companies have been in business for many years and their services have been top-notch pretty much from the start.
What’s interesting about Bluehost and WordPress is that there’s a bit of a friendly rivalry going on between these companies. On one hand, the two work great alongside each other. But on the other hand, they’re also competing for the same market, to some extent.
Comparing WP Engine vs Bluehost is the proverbial apples to oranges. The former is one of the best-known managed WordPress web hosts around, whereas Bluehost built a name for itself through more affordable plans. It’s safe to say, both providers offer very different approaches when it comes to WordPress hosting.
If you’re trying to decide between managed and regular shared hosting, you’ll need to know what you’re getting with each provider. A higher cost doesn’t necessarily translate to quality, so it’s important to understand what each price point gets you.
Bluehost vs Wordpress: Ease of use
Both Bluehost and WordPress are pretty easy to use and allow you to set up a new website in no time. If you sign up for a WordPress hosting plan you’re limited to using the company’s own CMS, which isn’t very surprising.
What is a bit strange, however, is that the CMS included with the hosting is actually more restrictive compared to the regular CMS we all know and love. Also, it goes without saying that WordPress won’t let you build your website using a different CMS like Joomla or Magento.
Bluehost, on the other hand, is a lot more open and allows you to use any CMS you like. As mentioned before, the company works well and recommends WordPress(.org) but ultimately the choice is up to you.
Bluehost simply provides hosting services and offers to help you set up your website, but you have the final say over where or how you want to go about doing that. Bluehost makes it very easy for beginners by offering “one-click WordPress install”, it basically helps you launch your website with one click, in less than 5 minutes.
We ran a poll on our Facebook group, Bluehost seems to be the #1 choice of the majority of our followers, and this happened even before Bluehost launched their current promo offering 65% discount.
If you want to open up an online store, for example, you can’t rely on WordPress right out of the box because the platform doesn’t support eCommerce by default. In that case, you can either add support via plugins or just go with a different CMS like Magento, which is specifically designed for online stores.
In other words, it’s always helpful to have full control over which CMS you want to use and, unfortunately, WordPress’ hosting plans won’t provide you with the same level of control as Bluehost.
Bluehost vs Wordpress: Scalability
Most of the time you’ll want to go with the cheapest possible hosting plan when you’re launching a new website. Unless you’re very experienced in terms of traffic acquisition, chances are you’ll probably have few visitors during the first few months.
Once your traffic reaches a certain threshold, you’ll need to upgrade to a better plan and periodically repeat this process as your website continues to grow.
Starting off with Bluehost will only set you back a few bucks per month if you go with the cheapest of the four available shared hosting plans. You don’t have to worry too much when it’s time to upgrade because the price difference between the various tiers is pretty small.
You’ll only come across a slightly more significant price bump when you upgrade from the third to the final package. However, you should already start making some money by that point so the investment will be well worth it.
If you decide to sign up with WordPress there’s quite a price difference between the company’s four hosting plans. The first two tiers are actually pretty reasonably priced (and VERY limited), but there’s a significant cost increase when you upgrade to the third tier (the first tier comes with decent limitations, but costs $25/month and offers the exact same features at Bluehost plan which is 8 times cheaper).
To make matters worse, the final tier is almost twice as expensive as the previous one so the scalability here is anything but smooth.
Bluehost vs Wordpress: Pricing
I’ve already mentioned a couple of things about pricing in the previous section so let’s go ahead and talk a bit about the specifics. There’s a pretty big difference between Bluehost and WordPress in this department. WordPress may seem to start off cheaper but ends up a lot more expensive than Bluehost by the end.
When it comes to shared hosting, Bluehost offers four packages to choose from, with prices ranging between $2.95 and $13.95 per month. Bluehost has a very cheap entry point compared to most of the other big hosting providers and even its most expensive package is quite fairly priced.
Two of the four packages – Plus and Choice Plus – actually have the same price for the first term so there’s no real reason not to go with Choice Plus right off the bat. Once the first term expires, Choice Plus will become more expensive but you can downgrade to the cheaper version afterward if you wish.
Bluehost’s BASIC plan is enough for one website, but if you plan on having multiple sites, you should go with PLUS or PRIME.
If you want to start off with the WordPress hosting plan it’s worth noting that you’ll have access to very few features and your blog would also have non-removable ads to WordPress.com. We didn’t like these restrictions at all considering we have to pay $5 a month and still have no real control over the website.
In the table below you can easily see the 3 low-tier WordPress Plans compared to Bluehost Basic Hosting Plan.
WordPress Plans compared to Bluehost Basic Plan
Unfortunately, neither Bluehost nor WordPress give users the option of paying on a month-by-month basis for their shared hosting subscription. WordPress only works with annual billing cycles while Bluehost accepts annual, biannual and triannual payments.
Paying for two or three years in advance grants you certain discounts so it helps to sign up for the long haul if possible.
Bluehost offers unlimited bandwidth, storage and support for an unlimited number of websites with all of its shared hosting plans except for the cheapest one. With Basic, you only get 50 GB of storage and support for a single website.
Despite the cheap price, I would recommend skipping Basic unless you’re a Blogger because you’ll get better value with the other three packages, especially Choice Plus during your first term.
WordPress doesn’t mention anything about the bandwidth and it seems like all its hosting plans are meant for a single website. Meanwhile, the storage space is pretty limited across the board, with the first three tiers only included 3 GB, 6 GB and 13 GB of storage, respectively.
The final two tiers come with 200 GB worth of storage. As far as the other features are concerned, you’ll need to go at least with the $25 per month Business plan if you want to build a half-decent website because that’s when you unlock the ability to install custom plugins, upload themes, remove WordPress.com branding and make use of SEO tools and Google Analytics integration (things that Bluehost gives starting with their Basic $2.95/mo plan).
Bluehost vs Wordpress: SEO
If you want your website to get a good amount of traffic you’ll need to pay close attention to SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Learning how to optimize your content for search engines can take a while if you’re trying to figure out everything by yourself because there are a lot of factors to consider.
Luckily, a lot of hosting providers include SEO tools with their packages and there are also many plugins that can help you optimize your content.
If you’re looking to optimize your content with plugins like Yoast you’re better off signing up with Bluehost and building your website with the WordPress CMS.
All these types of plugins are either completely free or have a free version so all you have to worry about is paying for your hosting plan. WordPress(.com) only allows Business and eCommerce users to add custom plugins to their site, which means you’ll need to pay at least $25 per month for the privilege.
With Bluehost, you can do it even if you subscribe to the Basic $2.95 per month plan.
If you want to rely on the SEO tools offered by your hosting provider, you’re once again better off with Bluehost. The company offers basic SEO tools as an optional service that you can add to any hosting package for just $1.99 per month.
By comparison with any other well-known host such as Bluehost or HostGator, WordPress only includes SEO tools with its Business and eCommerce plans, which cost $25 and $45 per month, respectively.
Bluehost vs Wordpress: Performance and Reliability
When you’re visiting a website the last thing you want is to have to wait a long time for a page to load or even worse, not load at all because the site is down. Back in the day, these kinds of issues were pretty common but in 2019 they are seen as unacceptable by most people.
That’s why it’s vital to make sure that your site is running smoothly at all times and suffering as little downtime as possible.
There’s are a few things you can do to improve the performance and reliability of your website but ultimately it’s up to the provider to handle the technical side of things. So how do Bluehost and WordPress fair in this department? The short answer is that Bluehost has the edge but overall they both perform well.
Bluehost vs Wordpress: Speed
Bluehost is one of the fastest providers around, with an average page loading speed of just 406 ms (we got this amazing speed when we bought one of the plan from Bluehost and run the tests on 3rd part tools). That’s a very impressive figure that very few other companies can ever hope to achieve.
Despite some fluctuations here and there, Bluehost’s average loading speeds have remained pretty consistent throughout 2019 so far and we’re likely to see this trend continue until the end of the year and beyond.
WordPress hasn’t been performing too shabby in the speed department either in 2019. The company’s page loadings speeds this year sit at around 954 ms on average. That’s slower than Bluehost (more than 2x slower) but still a very respectable result.
That said, we have seen more fluctuations with WordPress-hosted websites so that’s something to keep in mind as well.
Bluehost vs Wordpress: Customer Support
Customer support should never be neglected because you never know when you might need help with your website. Depending on your experience level, you might be able to fix certain problems by yourself, however, even veteran webmasters require technical assistance every once in a while.
If and when that happens, you’ll be glad to have professional and responsive support agents ready to help at a moment’s notice. Luckily, both Bluehost and WordPress are pretty good when it comes to customer support.
That said, Bluehost is a bit better in this department as its support agents are well known for being very knowledgeable and fast with their replies, we had a great experience with their support when we tested it for our Bluehost review.
You can contact them 24/7 via live chat or phone. The company has two phone numbers customers can use, one of which is toll-free. WordPress doesn’t have a phone number you can reach them at but you can get 24/7 customer support via live chat and email, but this lack of support is the main reason why WordPress.com did not manage to be on our Bluehost alternatives list.
Bluehost is a reputable stand-alone host, while WordPress is well known for it’s CMS. WordPress, on the other hand, makes you pay extra if you want your own domain. Bluehost also offers a free domain so we can only recommend WordPress.org as CMS and not hosting.
Bluehost has a starting price of $2.95 compared to WordPress.com’s “Personal” plan at $5. On Bluehost, you can also use the WordPress CMS and you have a LOT more features to choose from.
Bluehost vs. WordPress: A Clear Winner
Although WordPress offers the best CMS out there right now, it’s hard to recommend the company to anyone who is looking for a good hosting provider. At least not in its current state. WordPress is more expensive than many other companies, including Bluehost, and doesn’t offer too much in return for your money.
You’re generally better off signing up with a different provider and building your website on the WordPress CMS than using the company’s own hosting services.
The one redeeming quality of WordPress is that it allows you to set up a blog for free. There are plenty of caveats to the free hosting plan but it is a good option for those who can’t or don’t want to spend money on their first website.
If you’re serious about building a website, however, I recommend you stay clear of WordPress and go with Bluehost instead.
Bluehost has a lot more to offer in every department and its prices are some of the most affordable on the market when you stop to consider just how much you get in return. Just to put things into perspective, you get more value out of Bluehost’s $2.95 per month Basic shared hosting plan than you get from WordPress’ $8 per month Premium plan. That sort of value pretty much speaks for itself.